And specifically Chris Webber until, I don't know, next week maybe.
An Open Letter to Chris Webber
And specifically Chris Webber until, I don't know, next week maybe.
I would have waited until after this weekend was over, but in this letter he explicitly asks Webber to go to the game. It would kind of be a moot point for that part of the letter since it would no longer be as relevant because the Final Four would be over.
Take a moment and read the letter—Yago Colas is a phenomenal writer and he makes a compelling argument. Personally, I'd love to see this happen.
First, I don't think it's that great of a piece. He's telling Webber how much he's loved, by himself, the current players and something about all of humanity appreciating him showing up. It's not about Chris Webber.
Webber cheated. The basketball program is just now getting over what he did two decades ago. Blah blah blah, we all know the story. I'll never forgive Chris Webber and why should I? My memories of the basketball program when I was in school are banners coming down and none going up in their place.
I want to see the current players have their rightful moment in the spotlight this weekend (and Monday), not Chris Webber. He had his time to represent the University, and look what he chose to do.
Webber didn't cheat, he was a high school kid who was offered things he could never have purchased on his own and took it to make his life better. You've done the same thing your entire life most likely, you just weren't an athlete so when your dad's friend gives you a job its not a violation of some inane rule. The system is broken hating Weber is asinine.
So rule breaking is permissible when you happen to disagree with rules that you volunteered to abide by, even in cases where the consequences are immense? What about perjury laws, are they inane rules?
The world would never move forward if rules weren't objected to sometimes and changes made. It was once against the law to stand up to King George, or to slavery, or to Jim Crow.
That doesn't meant the NCAA rules are anywhere near as important or bad as those examples -- maybe some people think the NCAA rules are okay -- but it is wrong to shut down all debate based on the argument that the rules are what they are.
I think the person you responded to made a good point about how many of the objecters to Webber are people who can enjoy similar benefits without repercussions. Asking whether the law of perjury is inane is a red herring. The occasional need to change laws doesn't mean that all laws or rules need to be changed, and it certainly doesn't mean that there should never be rules.
If you disagree with the rules, from slavery to smoking pot to the NCAA, there's stuff you can do to change that. Official ways.
Taking money, lying about receiving said money, and trying to pretend like you didn't take any money and that you never broke any rules, is not of those good ways to "show you disagree"
How does one protest the official way? Isnt the point of civil disobedience to break the law? I dont get it.
Tell that to Rosa Parks. She protested because her feet hurt and started a revolution that we all know was a very good thing. Was it illegal for her? Yes it was. But we all HAILed her for breaking the law.
Not exactly the same situation here but the point is valid. Sometimes you have to break the rules to affect change. Chris admitted to accepting money after he declared for the NBA.
In court documents, Chris admitted taking $38,200 from Martin but it was never proven WHEN he took the money. Chris has said before that he took the money AFTER he declared for the NBA.
So Chris is going to get penalized because he took money after he declared but was technically still a student at UM? So he is getting crucified because he forgot to go withdraw from classes before he went to see Ed Martin?
He knew what he was doing, lied about it, and has refused to apologize. I don't care if he every shows up again.
That's all anyone has to read of your comment to know you don't understand what happened. It was cheating at a high level. It was denied for years despite overwhelming proof and admissions by co-cheaters. An apology is in order before Webber could EVER be accepted by the people who were affected by his celebration of self, and that's exactly what it was. Compare Chris Webber to Taylor Lewan. Doesn't take long to see the difference does it?
I've always heard that Chris's dad made decent money,certainly more than the rest of the Fab 5 families, and so that he didn't need to take the huge handouts from Martin.
What? Are you honestly serious? Rules are rules whether you like them or not. He voluntarily agreed to played college basketball and with that action, also agreed to abide by the rules almost every other NCAA athlete manages to follow. What makes Chris Webber so goddamn special that he doesn't need to follow the rules? Would you be saying the same goddamn thing if this was an Ohio State player? And I'm sure Auburn and Chizik are obviously in the wrong for paying their players, but this is okay because he's a "Michigan Man". No, screw him. He cheated and got what he deserves. I don't care if he is "re-accepted" by the university. I get frustrated when Michigan fans think that the Fab Five are somehow special or unique.
Guess what, every other major school in the country has had some sort of "epic" team, should they be allowed to avoid NCAA rules simply because they believe their services are not being valued correctly? No. Play in Europe if you think you're so damn special and don't screw the university you pledged to play for by cheating. Guess what, I would've rather Webber gone somewhere else to play than to treat the university like he did. Maybe we wouldn't have gone as far, but those records would still be there. Webber cost Michigan a DECADE of basketball. Screw him.
Just because you think the speed limit is too low doesn't mean you have the right to drive as fast as you want. By using public roads, you agree to abide by the rules of the road, no matter how stringent or asinine they might be. This is a very similar situation.
godamm, I hope you're not a cop cause my ass rolls thru stop signs on an hourly basis.
Herm, I totally agree with you. I don't want the fab five associated with UofM. But I attended many of the fab five games and have the memories and heart ache scars to show for it. The gist of the letter is valid. I wouldn't mind seeing Chris in the stands albeit not behind the bench. There are too many rules, so much water under the bridge and not enough peace. Let it be. Go Blue.
I mean if you really want to get into the "rules are rules no matter how much you dislike them" argument it was mlk that said an unjust law is no law at all. I mean rosa parks never apologized for sitting on the front of the bus (not trying to equate rosa parks with webber, just talking about the rules are rules argument). I never said what webber did was smart or right, I just said trying to vilify him and make him out to be some secretly bad person (which is more or less what the poster I replied to originally was doing) as a result of this is an over the top reaction, thats it.
webber isn't special, it is just in these situations with 17 or 18 year old kids getting paid by boosters I never blame the players. I don't think what the ohio guys did makes them bad people, I don't reggie bush is a bad person either.
And lets be honest, the santions hurt the school for about 5 years, the 15 years after that were just bad hires. Maryland was hurt with worse sanctions after the len bias tragedy but hired gary williams and won a national title 10 years after.
Oh boy. Really comparing college athletes getting full rides to top universities for playing childrens games to the civil rights movement? What's next, "if we don't stop the NCAA, the athletes will be hurt, just like with Hitler!" People forget that there are, what, 1,000 athletes at Michigan? Of which 95 are on revenue-positive teams? The other 905 are being subsidized by the football and basketball teams (maybe hockey?)
I also don't understand the "they were only 18!" argument. So is everyone else in the world at some point. Am I excused from my actions anytime before the age of 22 just because I was a naive college student? Absolutely not. They are not children. They know the difference between right and wrong. How many times do you think it was reiterated to them "DON'T TAKE MONEY FROM PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY PEOPLE RUNNING GAMBLING RINGS. AND IF YOU DID IN HIGH SCHOOL, QUIT IT NOW"? Webber's parents were both teachers and he went to Country Day. He was probably better off than 50% of the students at Michigan! It's not exactly like HE couldn't buy a new pair of shoes (not that he would need to, since he can (likely) could get those for free because he played basketball! He needs to pay for a date... the AD gives (now at least, or used to a few years ago) a pretty substantial weekend food budget and rent money (which is usually far more than you would need to cover rent down by the athletic facilities or Ypsi). Hell, they could probably live in Zaragon with money to spare now.
Have you ever considered the idea of not excusing, but forgiving what's been done? I understand that, in order to forgive, there has to be an apology. Hopefully, that's coming.
It's been almost two decades... don't hold your breath. I would look upon Webber much more favorably if he acknowledged his wrongdoing. He doesn't even have to say "Sorry" with a tear in his eye. It would just be honorable of him to acknowledge that he did, in fact, do something wrong, no matter how minor he thinks that transgression to be or how he was entitled to extra benefits because he was deserved more than what UM was giving him.
Can we hire yago as an assistant defensive line coach so he can help with recruiting
He'd write better recruiting letters than this piece of shit:
Although, I did notice his use of "Baller" several times.
The fact our fanbase seems so eager to welcome back Chris Webber tells me we didn't learn a damn thing from what the Ed Martin scandal did to this program.
Amen, amen. Lordy
I personally don't believe it is an eagerness to welcome him back, or do it with complete open arms. The letter makes a solid case for "starting to mend" and making the first step in rebuilding the relationship between Webber and Michigan.
Yes, let's forever ostracize an otherwise upstanding person who accepted a large sum of money when he was 18 years old. [EDIT: And going back to the eighth grade!] In case you haven't noticed, Michigan's last and current coaches are (1) the head coach at Harvard, and (2) the head of the NCAA MBB ethics coalition. I think we've learned some things.
Otherwise upstanding? I don't know about that. He was good at basketball though, so I guess it's all ok.
I'm a pretty big NBA fan. The only people I've heard say bad things about Chris Webber are Michigan fans—a certain set of Michigan fans that feels personally betrayed by the Ed Martin scandal—and I'd love to see those fans give the man a chance to prove he's grown up and moved forward since he was 18 (or, if you'd prefer, in the decade since he lied to a grand jury). There's a whole lot of positive that could come out of the Fab Five reconciling with Michigan, and the only negative I see is bitter fans who don't want to be reminded of an era that the program has obviously moved beyond.
An apology and taking accountability might go a long way in proving he has grown up.
And if you scroll up about a half page, you'll find the part of his Wiki entry about how he had to take a plea because he perjured himself before a grand jury about the money he took from Ed Martin.
No one is saying the guy isn't charitable. But it's a red herring to the discussion of his role in the Ed Martin scandal, his total lack of public remorse for his actions, and the ramifications it had for the basketball program.
This is a complex issue. For those of us who watched this program spiral into decline as a result of this scandal, it's about a little more than just Webber's skill on the basketball court.
At Michigan, we value character, honesty, and integrity. Chris Webber may have been a great basketball player (and none of us are denying he was), but off the court, his actions then and now in regards to his place in this scandal haven't lived up to those standards.
Bando, I love the arguments you make every time this thread reappears.
Holy shit a young kid who took money and knew he was going to get in troulbe lied to try to avoid getting in trouble? That never happens, what a shitty person he must be. He made some mistakes when he was younger. Webber didn't kill the basketball program Ed martin did. Hating a child because he took money offered to him that made his life better is just absurd. This sort of response is most likely why Weber refuses to apologize (this is purely conjecture), when people hate you, you tend to react defensively.
And seriously people, Weber was not the first or last player to recieve "improper" benefits as a result of playing for Michigan.
So just because other unscrupulous individuals cheat, it should be allowed? Good God I hope you aren't in a position that requires any sort of professional ethics. This seems like it was copied and pasted from an SEC board... that is scary.
First of all, I completely understand the stance against Chris Weber. However, he did not violate any "professional" code of ethics. He was an amateur.
Much of my young adult life was spent watching those crappy post-Ed Martin scandal basketball teams. It was brutal. I appreciate the damage that was done to the program.
I'm always curious as to why so much of the blame is placed at Weber's feet? What about Bullock? What about Maurice Taylor? What about Robert Traylor? What about Steve Fisher? What about What about Brian Dutcher?
I know this conversation is about Weber, but he always seems to take the brunt of the hard feelings that so many fans have about that whole situation.
What I appreciated most about the letter was that it showed a level of compassion that I usually can't comprehend.
I'm usually pretty unforgiving: if you know the consequences and fuck up, then fuck you. Reading that letter though, helped me understand the benefit of forgiving and moving on. How do we move on, if we don't forgive?
I'm not suggesting we forget what happened (doomed to repeat, yada yada), but it's about time we move on.
As a student you're not professional, but still have a code of conduct. You're never too young for morals.
But the answer to your question is easy...why Webber? Because no one ever asks or talks about any of those other guys coming back or being honored by the program. No professor wrote a "come back to the Final Four Steve Fisher" letter. And he actually won a title for us.
This sort of over the top reaction is why nobody can take you seriously. I never said the school did not deserve to be punished, or that a rule was not broken. What I said was that I blame ed martin and not chris webber. In these situations I never blame the student athlete. I don't think reggie bush, or the ohio st players, or the auburn players are bad people with no ethical code or moral compass like you seem to do. There is a difference between acknowledging wrongdoing and looking at the circumstances around it and just blindly hating.
I hope your job does not require any sort of logical thought, analytical analysis, or empathy, because you seem incapable of all it.
Well excuse me that I actually expect PEOPLE (he is not a "child" and was not one while playing, as you like to state so as to alleviate him from guilt, he was 18-22, and now he's 40 and still can't be an honest person) to have a moral compass. How goddamn hard is it to NOT TAKE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS? Seriously. Just don't do it. He wasn't poor, he didn't "need" the money, he felt entitled to it. He won't appologize, he was completely complicit in taking money from a known criminal, and probably would've served jail time had Martin not died. Congratulations Chris, you can throw a basketball through a hoop so you are excused of any of the ethics we regularly expect from the rest of the population. How can you NOT blame Chris Webber? Honestly. He CHEATED. Period. That's it. I'm not condeming him to burn in hell, but for God's sake, he hasn't even admitted he did anything wrong. I'm not blindly hating, you're blindly excusing him for his own actions. Maybe if he would man up for once and admit he did wrong, people would think more of him.
What percentage of Michigan alums who win a big NCAA pool report the cash winnings to the IRS?
What percentage of Michigan alums cheated on a test in high school or college? Or got "help" on a paper?
That someone has done bad things does not, in and of itself, mean that they are bad people. If Michigan refused to allow back any alum who did wrongs that were akin to Webber's, reunions would be lonely affairs.
Probably a bunch cheated. And if they were caught, they were likely kicked out of school and asked to not come back. Probably hurting their lives as a whole much more than Webber's was. He cheated, he got caught, he won't accept the consequences or acknowledge any wrongdoing.
In the court system, prisoners are often helped in their parole efforts by acknowledging their mistakes and admitting guilt. I'd like to see the same from Chris.
"That someone has done bad things does not, in and of itself, mean that they are bad people."
In the end, we are all nothing more than the sum of our actions... or as Aristotle put it -
"We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions."
And program destruction to not giving the IRS their cut in a $100 pool, did you?
Do you think killing an ant is the same thing as killing your children? I mean, they're both dead, it's wrong and all....
If a booster thinks you are a really intelligent engineering student and would do great things as a u of m alum and says I will give you money to attend the university of michigan is that a violation of moral integrity? There is nothing technically wrong about it but it is the exact same situation and I would never call a kid who took that money someone who lacked moral integrity. Who excused Webber? He broke a rule and as a result has been denied contact to the school that according to the rest of the fab five he actually really does care about. But to vilify, refuse to ever forgive and say he has no moral integrity is such an over the top response I have to believe you don't actually believe it because who can have that much hate in them over a person they have never met nor truly understand what he went through. Furthermore, I believe that responses such as yours are the reason he has never apologized, because you attack him as a person he is defensive and does not want to make you happy, it may be petty, but news flash so are you.
This is a complex issue. For those of us who watched this program spiral into decline as a result of this scandal, it's about a little more than just Webber's skill on the basketball court.
In fairness, Webber didn't force Tom Goss to hire Brian Ellerbe, Webber didn't force Bill Martin to replace Ellerbe with Tommy Amaker, and Webber didn't force Goss or Martin to drag their feet on badly needed facilities upgrades while the rest of the conference was busy cutting ribbons on new arenas and practice facilities. Webber definitely isn't blameless, but you can't blame the prolonged period of mediocrity solely on Webber and the scandal. Under Goss and Martin, our AD practically ignored the basketball program for nearly ten years.
Exactly. Like I said, it's a complex issue. I never said Webber was completely to blame. But the fact remains the scandal officially starts with Webber, and everything you mention is a direct result of the havoc that scandal brought to Michigan Basketball.
How is making bad hires a result of what Chris Weber did?
The Ed Martin scandal did not leave us with no choice but to hire Brian Ellerbe, so hiring Ellerbe was not a result of the scandal.
Hiring Brian Ellerbe was the result of a bad decision, nothing more.
If we had hired better coaches at that time, we could have been cutting ribbons on new basketball complexes much sooner than we did.
Brian Ellerbe was hired purely because he was the only guy left standing on the basketball staff in October of '97. Fisher and co. were let go for a reason, and that reason was the brewing scandal. The other guys followed Fisher, but Ellerbe had no reason to. He had been on campus for a matter of weeks. He had no connections to Fisher before that time, and had no connections to the scandal. He'd been a head coach before, and by every indication seemed to be a stand-up guy.
So, yes, the Ed Martin scandal had a direct impact on the decision to hire Brian Ellerbe as the interim basketball coach after Fisher was let go. Hindsight is 20/20. At the moment the hire was made, and through that season (which ended in a B10 tournament championship), it wasn't seen as a bad decision. Sure, the timing put us between a rock and a hard place, but that was what it was. As the years went on, it became evident we hitched our wagon to the wrong horse, but that doesn't mean we need to reinvent why he got the job in the first place.
So you're saying because Ellerbe was there that he had to be hired? We had limited options because of the situation. That doesn't mean that we could have pursued other options.
The AD could have made him the interim coach for a year, while conducting a thorough search for a permanent replacement.
Ellerbe's hiring was not a result of the scandal. It was the result of a bad decision.
Webber had a part in it, but a small one. Bad coaching and poor facilities led to our mediocrity. However, Webber and the Fab Five put M basketball on the map. Without those guys, we were a school that made a great tourney run that one time.
I can't tell you how many times I meet people who find out I'm a Michigan grad/fan and their first response is, "I remember watching the Fab Five, those guys were awesome." They don't bring up the scandal. They bring up their awesomeness. The positive mark Webber and the Fab Five left on the program is bigger than the negative one. The sanctions are done, we're past them. But the Fab Five legend is still alive and well. And the reality is that without Webber, there would have been no banners to bring down.
Michigan wasn't on the map already?
This was a program that won an NCAA championship two years before. That was coming off a decade where it won two Big 10 championships. Who had been to Final Fours in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
To imply there was no national profile for Michigan Basketball before the Fab Five is simple revisionism. Did the profile grow after '91? Absolutely. But Michigan was already prominently on the map when the Fab Five got to campus.
"But the Fab Five legend is still alive and well." Meh. Most college basketball player's weren't even born yet when they played. While I'm sure UNC still points to Jordan, NC State still talks about Valvano, and Michigan brings up the Fab Five to recruits, I don't think they would be a huge factor anymore. Without the ESPN documentary from a year ago, I don't think even MGoBloggers would care as much about the Fab Five. That did help put them back in people's minds, I'll agree. But we have to remember it's been 20 years. That is a long time. Anyways, Michigan basketball won a NC before the Fab Five, not during their tenure. Hell, for all we know, had the Fab Five not come to UM, there might have been another championship during the down years (though it is a small possibility).
This is all true (and I've made this argument before) - but his/his fathers' actions caused two incredibly memorable Final Four appearances to be wiped off the record. That alone was a gut punch. It kills me whenever the TV guys start to reminisce about the Fab Five, only to inevitably add "but those Final Fours were vacated."
Some of what you say is true, like the administrative complacency regarding facilities. But a lot of the other decisions can be traced in part to Webber's (and others') actions. Ellerbe was hired to be an assistant and was promoted because the independent report by the law firm on the scandal came down in October 1997 and left no choice but to fire Fisher immediately. With practice about to start, no coaches on the market due to the timing, Dutcher being tainted etc there was no one to hire except Ellerbe at that point as he had not been around for any of the chicanery. Then Ellerbe actually had a good year, earning a #3 seed in the tourney and winning the BTT and with probable sanctions on the way we were in no position to go get a name coach. We made the wrong but seemingly sensible at the time decision to keep him and plow through the sanctions and get to the other side. No one understood then that it would not be resolved for many years.
As far as Amaker, certainly Bill Martin screwed that up as Pitino claims that he would have gone to M. But one of the primary reasons that Amaker was hired was because he had that squeaky clean Duke image and with the case still dragging along the University wanted to appear to have changed. Moreover the scandal was still hanging over the program and limiting the pool of candidates.
Facilities - I mostly agree that this is on the administration. But don't think that the scandal also didn't turn off some of the big money people who help get facilities paid for.
You can't blame Webber directly for a lot of MIchigan basketball's problems for the decade from 97 to about 07. But a lot of the choices that other people made were influenced and altered by both the sanctions, the sense of impending doom before the sanctions and the complications that arose because of the choices of Webber, T(r)aylor, and Bullock. Their actions set in motion the chain of effects that led to a lot of shitty basketball.
Don't get me wrong, I loved going to games during the Fab 5 era and the two tourney runs were great. In the big picture, violating amateurism rules is pretty small potatoes. Forgive that and move on and I am happy to reconcile with Webber. But I do still believe that a lot of the bad basketball grew out of Webber's choices and the long lasting consequences they resulted in.
"For those of us who watched this program spiral into decline as a result of this scandal, it's about a little more than just Webber's skill on the basketball court."
You must not have been watching very closely because it's completely facetious to say that our program declined because of Weber. Our program declined because of our Atheltic department's refusal to invest in its facilities and hire competent coaches. I mean, Ellerbe won a Big ten tournament during the beginning of his term and thereafter gave us terrible seasons. This was even BEFORE we had any sanctions whatsoever. And even then, the only meaningful sanction that we had imposed on us was a grand total of 1 scholarship reduction a year. Stop using false arguments to support your bias against the fab five
Ellerbe was hired because Fisher was fired. Are you saying that without the scandal, we would still have had Ellerbe, Amaker, poor recruiting, poor attendance and deteriorating facilities? Who knows, without the scandal, we might be calling the refurbished Crisler Arena "The house that Chris built." However, predictions are hard, especially about the past.
The facilities needed work before the scandal broke.
that without the scandal, we would likely have not had poor coaches & poor attendance. Our future, BB-wise would likely have been sky high, attendance would have been much better, better tv revenue, etc. which should have led to an upgrade of facilites. Anyway, I like how things are now, it just should not have taken 20 years.
It really is great that the UM community stands up for character, honesty and integrity. The character of what is going on in football and basketball programs is what really makes things special as we return to our former glory. But without grace, all of these things just become ugly and self-righteous. Am I happy about C Webb and the selfish actions he took and which, if I am not mistaken, he has never apologized for? No, I am not. But if he was a family member I would still invite him for Thanksgiving dinner. I would still pray for him and try to encourage him. I can also have sympathy on what it was like for him at the time. I don't justify what he did at all, but I can extend some grace in my attitude towards him.
Furthermore, unless I am mistaken, alot of the ethics problems at UM basketball took place in the years after the Fab Five, but everything gets lumped onto the Fab Five. Not only are we being ungracious towards them, then, we are being substantially unfair.
When he was 18. What is he now? Closing on 40? He has never shown any remorse to forgive. This is not all on those of us still pissed about it.
It's simple, first the person who "made the mistake" says "I was wrong". Then people (who want to) can say "yes you were. Thanks for acknowledging that. We have missed you."
Webber was quite close to being convicted of perjury if not for the death of Ed Martin. The perjury was committed well after he was 18-years-old. It's ridiculous to excuse something like that just because he was a basketball star, unless you were unaware of it. That's not bitterness; that's a felony.
He was protecting a CRIMINAL. Protecting Ed Martin gets you no sympathy points.
How can someone be forgiven for something they just seem to ignore. I want to love him and have him be part of the University... But for me (and others on the "ostracizing" side), maybe an ounce of acceptance on his part, for the damage his actions (yes, as a young man) caused Michigan would be a welcomed start.
While Michigan has learned things, rebuilt a successful program, and is doing so with integrity; this all has happened independently of Chris Webber.
I don't see it as ostracizing really. I'm just not willing to put on blinders and pretend we're all good...when he hasn't owned his mistakes. So maybe in his mind, he didn't make a mistake? Or...maybe he is just waiting to do so until the ban is over?? That's what I'm hoping for.
As for the letter, it's compelling and well stated. I am really glad to have read it, and will be curious to see what comes of it.
Isn't he not allowed to have any contact with the program in any capacity until May? He just wrote an autobiography...my hunch is that this apology is coming soon
Yes, let's forever ostracize an otherwise upstanding person who accepted a large sum of money when he was 18 years old. [EDIT: And going back to the eighth grade!]
And it may in fact have been his father who took most of the money, not him. (If so, that might explain why people who saw the Fab Five around campus didn't think any of them had a lot of money, as opposed to the Traylor/Taylor/Bullock trio, who flaunted it.)
I do think, though, that he needs to show some level of remorse for what happened. It's not that he took money 20+ years ago that's the issue to a lot of people, but that he's been defiant about having done anything improper. I understand why he felt exploited - his jersey certainly was a big seller those two years - but the rules are what they are, and by breaking them he set his program back a long way.
is not completely comprised of geriatric pedants like you might have something to do with it.
I would love to see the Fab Five show up in the ATL together, but I can't imagine it happening. For me and most who watched those teams they revolutionized the college game, much like Larry and Magic did for the NBA. I knew it was something special and I was only 15. I actually wore my CWeb jersey out in public last year for a fan day at work, I got some crazy looks
I would not like to see them show up in ATL because this Final 4 belongs to the current team, not the Fab 5. If a reunion happens at an M game, there is a better time and place for it.
Just one man's opinion.
because this is a good team? What about Zak Novak, et al who came before them who bore the stigma of the Fab Five?
What a well writen, thoughtful, and compelling letter. Hope this finds its way to Webber in some fashion and he is able to take it into consideration.
Wasn't Jalen talking about getting the fab 5 back together and going to the game in Atlanta if we made it to the final 4.
but there are certain phrases that I hear a lot, and have said to myself a lot, but they still carry a great deal of meaning to me. For me, it's that there are precious few chances to love and be loved in return in this lifetime, and we should not pass up on any of them if we can help it.
dreaded double post, and on something kinda weepy too.
The letter conveyed thoughts many of us have with class and grace. I am glad that I had a chance to read it.
I have mixed feelings... On one hand it sounds like a good path towards potentially mending things, and I'm guessing (??) it would be huge to the team. But on the other hand, would it be distracting, or take away anything from this team? I would hate for that to be the case. This team deserves the full credit and attention. But--if it really would matter to them, I would not feel critical.
I loved CWebb, and defended him, as i thought he was a good kid and so good for the University(prior to Martin). Now, I remain angry and unforgiving of his inability to be accountable. For me, it's not even about what he did, but his lack of accountability. Regardless, I remain hopeful that a time will come that he will own it, and just apologize for how it hurt Michigan. They are such a great part of our history, if only.....
So, for this weekend, we will see if it happens. meanwhile--GO BLUE!!
It was full before registration for normal students began.
This is just me talking out of my ass, but I don't really like it when a large portion of certain teams are guided into certain classes... that aren't exactly Econ 101 or Calculus. Just reminds me too much of the UNC type of scandals that I'd like to avoid. I'm sure there is nothing amiss, but it wouldn't exactly smell right to an outside observer. Granted, there are "athete classes" at every school, but it'd be nice to avoid.
I'm also not a fan of the "athletes pick classes before anyone else on campus" rule. Yes, I understand they have schedules they have to work around. But there are plenty of other students working part/full time jobs, commuting to school, presiding over major organizations, playing club sports, etc. Just frustrating to walk into one of those really easy second-semester senior-year classes and see a bunch of freshman athletes when you've had to wait 4 years to get a chance to take a joke class.
It's a mixture of athletes and upperclassmen. It filled up on the first day of registration.
I have to say though I can agrue the shit out of anything related to basketball history/culturisms from what I learned in this class. People don't know what hit them.
... that letter was downright creepy. I can almost guarantee you that it's disconcertingly similar to fanmail Webber received when he was at the height of his playing days. Honestly, how many variations of the following letter do you think Chris Webber has received:
Dear Chris Webber,
I've loved you for decades. No one undestands you the way I do, because I also went through (RANDOM EXPERIENCE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING). Look at how I altered my appearance to look more like you! Please pay attention to me.
Fan Who Spends Way Too Much Time Thinking About You And Has Clearly Lost Perspective
That this guy is an Associate Professor is only slightly less embarrassing for the University than the Ed Martin scandal.
I am actually of the mind that C-Web should be welcomed back into the Michigan family in some manner. The guy screwed up when he was a kid, did some stupid things a few years later to cover it up, and ultimately paid the price in reputation, estrangement from the university and overall embarrassment. But, it's time to move on and begin to mend the fences.
All of that said, I also found the letter creepy, especially the part where Yago started discussion what was obvious a very personal issue for him and then comparing it to what CW was going through.
Are you talking about a "Slim Shady" letter?
Yeah a lot of mixed feelings from me too.
On the one hand, this would be a step in the right direction to support the team, and like the article says, Chris shouldn't feel like everyone at Michigan hates him and never wants to see him again. I think even people who aren't on his side would like to see him come forward, make amends, and be on better terms with the program, even if it is just a small gesture. Not to mention, like was said, this is about the team and these kids now, and it would be huge to see him and the rest of the Fab Five there to support Mitch, Nik, GRIII, Spike, and Caris and the rest of the team.
On the other hand, that is a best-case scenario and the media would never let it go down like that. The second he is there at the game, reporters want to know his thoughts on the team and how they compare to his time and if he is ready to make amends, and how hard it is been for him to be distanced from the team. It would be an ultimate distraction and would confirm probably why Chris hasn't come forward since then: the media is never going to leave him alone if the cameras see him and Michigan together again, and that's not what his return in Atlanta would be about.
It would totally be a circus act and distracting...and that wouldn't be CWebb's fault. It would take away from THIS team.
This team has some crazy good personality. And damn! What a fun ride...that Kansas game was crazy... More fun to come this weekend!
The discussion of accountability is a little absurd. He was a young man thrust into the spotlight and made a few mistakes. He was too young to understand the damage that he did to the team, and that the university would do to itself to show contrition. He's already forgiven by me, not that he ever needed to be.
The program is peaking, I don't know why we can't just enjoy it. If Webber wants to show up to the game I think that would be really good for him but the team is so wonderful right now I don't care what Webber does. Look at them play -- the joy on their faces in the tournament -- and tell me this Michigan team is haunted by ghosts.
Talented and rich, there's no need for that annoying integrity.
To think that Webber still needs our come-to-Jesus "tough love" is comical. He's been punished for 20 years now by the university and from Michigan fans. I don't see what is gained by continuing to punish him. If what's gained is your sense of integrity than I guess you should try to convince the university to tack on another 20 with an option to suspend the rest of the sentence if he apologizes.
Chris is a member of the Michigan family and yes sometimes you have to forgive family before they realize they made a mistake or can even begin to deal with it. Sometimes people need tough love, sometimes people just need love. It takes wisdom to know when to use each but I tend to go with the later.
It's right and wrong. He has not shown an ounce of remorse.
If you find integrity comical, I hope you're not raising kids.
OK, thats a very well written letter. My question is, Webber can have NO contact with the players or coaches, so how is that going to be motivational? The current players MAY see him in a stadium with 70k fans?
The problem I have with permanently chastising Chris Webber is that a big chunk of elite college basketball players in his era (and most likely now too for that matter) probably took improper cash. Did they all take as much as he did? Maybe not. But pretending that most players were 100% clean is also a joke too.
The reason Webber ended up getting Michigan poleaxed is that he took money from a guy who got run by the Feds, and that meant they were able to use subpeona power. Usually the NCAA can't compel anyone to actually tell the truth about any of this stuff, so everyone just lies about it to CYA. But once the Feds were involved, then they could subpeona people and compel them to testify, threatening them with perjury and jail time if they lied.
So in the end, yeah, what Webber did was wrong. But I bet he met tons of guys in the NBA that also took money in college that no one even knows about. That has to be hard to stomach for him. It doesn't excuse what he did, but it probably explains a lot of why the whole situation pisses him off so much. Everyone acts like he is some sort of pariah, when the truth is, he is just one of many MANY guys who took illicit cash while playing college ball.
So I don't know how you deal with him at Michigan. You can't really celebrate the Fab 5 without pretending the scandal didn't happen. But I don't think Michigan wants to do that. So what do you do?
So, a ton of people speed / use illegal drugs / drink and drive / abuse their significant others / etc. Does that make it a valid excuse when you're caught? Absolutely not. Do you think in a few years we'd be packing Auburn fans on the back and saying "It's ok, you guys should take Cam Newton back, I'm sure a lot of other players were being paid too. Don't worry, we're not judging you." Hell no. Everytime there is a sniff of a scandal in the SEC, MGoBlog acts like the SEC personally spit in their mother's face. But if it's Webber... well, he was young, so I can understand it. Bullshit. Have some more integrity and stop being two-faced about the cheating that occurs in college sports. Yes it happens,we all know that. but does it make it right? No.
(Sorry not yelling at you. Excuse me if it seemed like it. Just chastising your point about the "tons of players do it".)
I have said this before, but I think it bares repeating.
I entered Michigan in the fall of 1991 like Webber and the Fab Five. I grew up in Southfield, MI, and had a lot of friends at Country Day when Webber was there....so we knew each other. I would not say we would be called friends, but definitely acquaintenances. And I had met Jalen Rose before I even knew he was going to Michigan.
We had common friends in Ann Arbor as well, and I had been to several parties with members of the Fab 5.
When Webber was there, he lived the life of a poor student. I know now he took money while there, but he was not driving around in a Cadillac or throwing money around. That simply was not the reality.
What this letter says, and what many of us that were around at that time, is NOT to excuse what Webber did. He broke the rules, no question. But in hindsight, look at his punishment, and then look at others that have done similar things. Did Webber really commit a crime greater than Reggie Bush, Cam Newton, and some of these others? And did they ever suffer as much from this as he has?
So to say that Webber should not be 'punished' is silly. He has been punished. In fact, I would argue he and the University of Michigan were punished far more than equivalent offenses elsewhere.
The question really is, can we at some point forgive? 20 years have gone by. TWENTY YEARS. Look at the people in society we have forgiven. This week, there was news that a former terrorist partially responsible for the deaths of three men in the 1960s was given a prestigious professorship at Columbia University. We can forgive murder but not this?
We need to move on. Webber should apologize for what he did, but UM should accept his apology and bring him back into the fold. That is the only way this episode ever ends, and the circle is complete.
very well said.
It's really that simple.
Forgiveness is for those who want to be forgiven.
The former requires the latter.
I hope you're not holding your breath on the latter, because CW has never given the slightest indication he believes there is anything for him to apologize for.
I agree with the letter.
I want Weber back in the Michigan community.
But for all those that are saying people with my opinion feel this way are doing so because he was good at basketball - complete bullshit!
You know how much Mitch McGary is loved here right now? His personality, his team play, how much he loves Michigan and basketball and his team? That was Weber, that was the Fab Five. I want the mending to begin not because of how good he was at basketball, but because of how good he was. I've met him a few times, he helped out with St. Louis Center's disabled youth - he was incredibly generous, giving, and authentic. And he loved playing, and loved the university.
Those are the reasons I want the mending to begin. Not because he was good at basketball.
All arguements are fair game, imo, but not this one.
There's a part of me that really can't wait to see two things happen with Michigan athletics. Welcoming back Chris Webber and advertising in Michigan Stadium.
I just want to see Bando have a complete meltdown. He's essentially threatened to turn in his degree if either of these happen and it's starting to look like will both probably happen in his lifetime.
One thing that's a little weird is that the author has been at the University for 20 or so years and is still only an associate professor (promotion to full in a normal case would happen after 12 or so years).
The picture is great too - the players must be enjoying life on campus this week. It is uniquely cool about making the final four that you get to bask an entire week in the media spotlight (well, perhaps the weeks before the superbowl are similar). I hope all of the guys are enjoying it.
Finally, I was at the 1993 final four, and saw the timeout live. It was brutal when the fans finally figured out what was going on. This time I think I will watch from home, and perhaps our luck will change - yes, I have that kind of power.
He is "teaching" a class called "Cultures of Basketball". Not exactly position that would be hard to replace.
I was afraid the letter was going to read:
YOU'RE A BALLER!
I love the rest of the fab five, and would love to see them honored. I don't like Mason Weber (that's his real name). I would just as soon he kept pouting and didn't come back with the rest of them when they do.
I think you mean Mayce.
Two of these...b
Would love to see the Fab 5 sitting together at the games this weekend/Monday. He's been punished and a huge part of college basketball history. I would bet CBB is the most corrupt sport when it comes to paying players and UM got killed by the NCAA. If you don't think Calipari is paying players you're crazy.
Bring back the Fab 5 and CWebb and let's win this Ship.
why can't that wait until after this current team is done with their run? bringing the fab 5 back now is going to completely overshadow this team's moment and I am not ok with that happening.
Bring them back next year once C-Webb can officially have contact with the program.
Chris Webber laundered (took) $330,000 from a guy who ran an illegal numbers racket in the auto plants who was a basketball groupie, bitched that players should be paid or were entitled to the royalties that the fab five created, never apologized, never paid Ed Martin back the money he was "loaned". He did not grow up in poverty. He had a free ride to Country Day. Both his parents were teachers.
Are you proud of the Fab 5 wiping their butts on the logo on the center of MSU's Bball court? Are you proud of their legacy? I'm not. They underachieved.
Screwed the UM basketball program until the arrival of John Belein.
He was the only one of the Fab 5 to be on the take, but has selfishly stained their legacy.
He is the antithesis of a role model.
The other players on the take were all after the Fab 5 - Taylor, Traylor, and Bullick. Traylor was the only one to pay Ed Martin back.
I don't ever want him affiliated with Michigan Basketball again. I would never invite him back until he publically apologizes.
In the words of Rabbit in 8 Mile: "Ward, you're a little hard on the beaver...."
Like one of the posters above, I'm a class of 1995 UM grad, whose life happened to intersect with the FF a lot over my time there. Since they are in a sense a reflection of me and my class, I am likely biased and have a sub-conscious dog in this fight. With that being said:
I don't want to fisk your entire post (don't have the time), I would simply like to point out that I do think Webber can be a role model. In fact, that is what makes his story so ****** compelling to people.
The Fab 5 never won a single title. They were counter-culture, even at a progressive place like Michigan. They were flawed, both on the court and off. Yet they had a bigger impact on college sports than any of the people whose numbers are displayed at Michigan Stadium or in the Crisler rafters. They were, and are role models for a generation of kids whether people like it or not.
The question now is can Webber, the symbol of that class, reconcile with the fanbase, many of whom did not approve of their behavior on the court for many (some valid imo) reasons. Can he bring himself to acknowledge that his critics have point, that he owes Michigan more than jersey revenues now. Can he, in a metaphorical sense, rejoin the family that has loved/hated/been conflicted about him through contrition and maturity? If he can, then he can be just as powerful a role model as those who never made the kinds of mistakes he made.
This is the most bizarre love letter I have ever read. It appears that you have a strange obsession with Chris Webber. You are a professor and should be teaching morals and values to these kids which appear to be lacking. You say that it would mean the world to these kids if he came to the game. Why would you allow this idea to perpetuate in your classroom? What you are saying is that Webber is and should be a role model to these kids and that if their role model came that would be great. Webber should not be thought as a role model and you should not be encouraging this idea. The only thing this team has in common with Webber is they went to the same school, played basketball and won a lot of games. The comparisons stop there, and that alone does not make him a role model. He was selfish, only cared about getting money, broke the rules, didn't take responsibility for his actions, hasn't apologized, the lists goes on. Is this the type of person you want your students to idolize? Are you going to write an open letter to Lance Armstrong telling him to go watch the next best cyclist, or an open letter to Barry Bonds to watch a Michigan baseball game? No, these guys were once at the top of their game, but in the game of life they fell to the bottom and so did Webber. What you should be telling these kids is, it should mean the world to you if your parents, family, friends and people who have supported you all year come. That is what should be important. Not some guy who was good at basketball and banned from the University that you attend . There are plenty of former Michigan basketball legends who are excellent role models that you could be asking to come, but it seems like your class is stuck in the early 90's. Webber was and still should be banned until May. Make him sit at home and watch them do something he could never do, win a championship. And then, next year invite him to the banner raising ceremony, make him sit front row and have him look up and make him realize that this team did it the right way, won with class, was unselfish, was everything he wasn't and these banners will remind him that he will always have to look up to these fine young men. Go Blue!
"Inspired by my lifelong love of the game and informed by my scholarly interests in the role that stories, particularly informal stories, play in shaping our daily lives at the individual and collective level"
Stories? Informal Stories? Give me a fucking break.
Sounds like the very definition of a ridiculous cake course to me, but since it's Michigan it's dressed up in all kinds of serious-sounding language. For an institution that is constantly beating its chest about its sterling academic reputation, it's laughable.
I know that Michigan is no different from most other big-time programs in this respect, but it just points out the hypocrisy of those UM fans who laugh at OSU for offering courses in football to its players.
the humanities are like art- anything can be anything. thus, every facet of human endevour has a culture and subsequently a course to take in college.
A lot of people walk their dogs in the morning, but I'm not gonna offer it as a 3 credit elective course.
If Michigan didn't have a basketball program, would this course be offered? Is there a course "Cultures in Swimming" that the freshmen on the swimming team take?
upper middle class white culture
The letter is almost completely uninteresting, barring the fact that he teaches five of the current freshmen. Their view (and they apparently would like to see this) is important.
My take: Webber needs to apologize, the community needs to forgive.
I skimmed the responses.. but didn't see this said anywhere.. Is anybody outraged by a class called:
Cultures of Basketball
I thought stuff like this happened at OTHER schools.
And the mythical "Michigan Man" meme again stands in the way of all reason.
You want to rip apart C-Webb because you think you are the better man and you think you would have made such a better choice when you were in college. You would have turned down that money and come back and played four years for the beloved University and won championships, but at the end of the day you are full of shit.
You know how I know this? What are you doing right now? Sitting at your desk, doing a job you don't want to do all the while missing out on time with your family. And for what? Money.
You are a grown man and yet you still give your life for money. Chris was 18 years old. He didn't know any better then and none of you know any better now. So get off your pulpit. You would have done the same thing. Hell, you probably would do the same thing now.
I had a full time job and a family at the same age that Chris was when he entered the NBA draft. We have had MULTITUDES of athletes who have come through this University and not made the same error, some of them poorer than Chris.
Let's face it, Chris really wasn't that poor. He lived a TYPICAL college life. Prior to that he was pampered with a supplied private school education. All of this was made possible because he could put a ball in a cylinder. If anything maybe his issues was he expected to be pampered because of his talent and even felt entitled to it.
Me, on the other hand, I expect an 18 year old to act and behave like an adult. The main reason why many of them don't is they aren't trained and people are all to willing to make excuses for their poor behavior.
The starting five guys on the court this Saturday have not been known to take a bribe, I wonder if they have ever been offered one?
It is a well known fact that the University made millions off of C-Webb and the other four.
In a strange way (if you can put your ego away and step into their shoes) maybe C-Webb did act like a man. "They are making millions off of me, maybe I should get some money too." Maybe he was mature beyond his years in making a business decision to take money that in many ways was money he had earned. I'm not saying Chris wa spoor, but that doesn't mean he had secured anything for himself yet. Had he broken his knee in that final game and not made a dime "putting a ball in a cylinder" nobody would have said anything other than "wow, what a shame."
Nobody in this world works for YEARS with the assumed future payment all the while not under contract for the future payment. The system is obviously broken and in my mind Chris didn't do anything "wrong." It may not have been moral. He may have let his drive for money get in the way of what was best for the University, but he had no allegiance to the Univeristy. All they were doing in his mind was raking in millions in jersey sales with his name on it.
As a wise man once stated "Shut up about yourself and get on with it. It will help you not make terrible mistakes because you are trying to preserve what people think about you in the face of what you really are."
Doesn't matter if they made 10's of millions or 10 dollars, you are just making another excuse. They came on promise of a full scholarship and all the offered benefits but nothing more. The football program makes the University far more than the basketball program and yet it remains clean. The only hint of a scandle in the past 100+ years is practices going over the alloted time. Are you saying that we need more football players taking unauthorized payments and making excuses?
I can put myself in Chris Webbers shoes. I did not have the opportunities that Chris had. I didn't have a private education. I didn't have a full ride to the University of Michigan. I had no promise of a multi-million dollar career. I never saw that as an excuse to break the law. You are arguing in favor of lawbreaking. I hope you are not doing so because Chris is an athlete.
Chris' punishment as handed down by the law is complete. I am not saying we should go after him again. However, the University is under no obligation to welcome him back. I think cooler heads will prevail if his actions demonstrate that he knew was wrong for taking the money. I am under the impression that he would not have to make such an apology public but defiance will get him nowhere.
I am telling you, do not make the same mistakes as Chris because if YOU go before a judge and make this similar piss poor excuse you will be punished in much harsher manner than Chris.
Didn't Woodson accept payments from an agent that wanted to sign him? Can't imagine he's the first elite Michigan football player to have done that.
Right, Woodson get a tuxedo and some incidentals related to his trip to the Heisman ceremony paid for by an agent (Marion Jones/Summit Mgmt Group). Additional trips paid for by an agent were taken over the summer of 97. The difference was that Michigan Football/A.D. folks were not implicated in knowing about it whereas Fisher was aware and actively trying to conceal the relationship with Ed Martin (and fraudulently tying it to Perry Watson by putting the tickets he left for Martin under Watson's name). So it was not deemed an NCAA violation because it was an agent rather than a booster and because Fisher was dirty but Carr wasn't. Strictly as far as the players though, it was pretty similar. Woodson also probably perjured himself by saying that he never took illegal benefits while at Michigan even though the paper trail indicates otherwise. But in that case he was testifying on behalf of the prosecution in regards to Summit Mgmt's financial problems/debts/fraud. It's fascinating the difference in the way that Webber and Woodson are perceived by M fans even though both took illegal benefits and probably perjured themselves.
The university making money off of athletes shouldn't come as a surprise to them. If they are so outraged by it... guess what... no one is forcing them to play a game in exchange for a full scholarship, academic tutoring and benefits, free housing and food, and adoring fans. Play in Europe if you're that outraged that a school makes money off of you playing a game. I find it more outrageous that an undergrad or grad student might do research, that, you know, might actually benefit humanity in some way, and not be compensated completely.
This point is how I have always felt. They get more academic support than an average undergrad. They have access to better facilities. Don't the athletes have access to their own specific nutritionist? I seem to recall pics if Pipkins' prepared meals over the summer. And think of this, there are numerous scholarship athletes who will play in college and never go anywhere beyond that athletically. Every scholarship player has access to the same resources. It's not just the "elite" athletes. If you want to pay athletes, do you set it up based on their perceived "worth?" Do you have agents negotiating deals for their star players? Yes certain players, AT EVERY SCHOOL, have a brighter athletic future, and the respective University may use them as a marketing focal point because of this. The norm is the best athletes are the most popular. As fans, if you're upset with athletes not getting paid because the University is selling their jersey, don't buy their jersey. Then the University isn't making the money off of them. And the athlete isn't "losing out."
Would Chris, Jimmy, Juwan, Ray, and Jalen all have attended Minnesota? Illinois? Purdue? MSU? Iowa? Vanderbilt? Texas? They all came to Michigan because Michigan was fresh off its national championship, which none of them had anything to do with. The anger over the University making millions off of #4 jerseys always conveniently ignores the fact that Chris Webber and the other four did not build the basketball program. They joined a program that was regarded as one of the hottest in the nation at the time with a legacy that predated them by many years. Chris Webber parlayed the fame and experience he acquired playing basketball for two seasons at Michigan into a professional career that enabled him to make more money than virtually none of us will see in our working lifetime.
The notion that we're supposed to feel outrage over his alleged mistreatment by UM is farcical. If Chris Webber attends Iowa, that program doesn't have the pull to also get the other players, which means he doesn't get to two championship games and his jersey is no big deal outside of Iowa City. Webber ought to be thankful for the opportunity he had at Michigan to build the foundation for a lucrative career. It's a two-way street, something he needs to openly acknowledge.
Some people actually do work for years with the assumed future payment all the while not under contract for the future payment - they are called Doctor's. And it is hard to say he didn't do anything wrong when he clearly agreed to a predefined set of rules and regulations and then flouted them. Whether you agree they should exist is another matter, agreeing to it and then breaking it is wrong.
I'm ok with C-Webb being welcomed back if he apaolgizes for his mistakes....not sure how he will be able to do that without tripping over perjury issues but that is my hope. It looks like we may find out sooner rather than later.
Residents just get paid like shit but they're still getting paid. Your analogy makes no sense. Under it, anyone seeking an education or post-grad/professional degree falls into that category. HS too.
So if the NCAA wants to setup a program that pays student atheletes like residents then let them. That wasn't the case with Webber.
I have no problems with compensating a player more when the rules are agreed upon.
The only potential issue that exists is a system much like the NBA where you enter in contracts and agents. I would definitely be against such a scenario. I love basketball but despise the NBA.
Comapring doctors and residency programs/higher education to college athletes is completely inalagous. The likeness and images of pre-med students and residents aren't being used to make millions for third parties all the while they're not getting a cut of the pie. I was merely responding to how poor of an analogy he used.
What's tuition, room & board at Michigan these days? I guess getting that for free doesn't count as compensating the athletes?
Are you talking about going pro or the Martin money? Because if it's the latter you can save your "everybody would have done it" justifications.
I cannot believe the vitriol on here today, WOW. Attacking this professor. Its been 20 years guys, I was hurt and embarrassed also, but enough is enough.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
On wanting Webber to return. The problem I have (outside of Ace's apparent willingness to let character slide in favor of talent on the court) is the man has NEVER expressed any remorse. We have a nation of people that are quick to forgive so that is not even an issue but Webber refuses to be a man and admit error.
I have heard EVERY excuse possible when it comes to Chris' actions but knowingly or unknowingly, he participated in a money laundering scheme and then perjured himself. Anyone not named Chris Webber would have served serious jail time for such poor judgment. He got off with a wrist slap.
I started becoming a Michigan fan when he and the rest of the Fab Five arrived in Ann Arbor but I have also had to endure the last 19 years as the program has climbed out of the abyss. If Chris is willing to apologize and recognize his judgment hurt the program and many people then I would love to see him at the game. If he continues to act like he did nothing wrong, I see a program that is now thriving without his name attached to it.
Unless he feels the desire to. You people can keep pretending you had no idea these guys got paid when they attended Michigan if you like, but anyone with common sense knew that was the case. What about football? There have been plenty stories about many of our beloved star players on the gridiron that recieved "extra" benefits. Webber was a kid and his parents took money, and as an adult he lied in a failed attempt to PROTECT THE UNIVERSITY!!!!!! Not himself. He had nothing to lose by admitting wrong doing a decade after leaving, but he risked going to jail to keep his school from going under. How many of YOU have contributed the amount of financial gain and world wide recognition to Michigan that Webber has? How many of you had the power to make your parents turn down hundreds of thousands of dollars? How many of you never made a mistake when you were 18-23 years olds? How many of you would risk your freedom to protect a university that used you 20 times more than you used it? Let it go people and stop screaming for an apology like the dude slept with your spouses. COME TO THE ATL C-WEBB and bring back the whole gang from Jalen Rose to Rob Pelinka.
There appear to be two sides to this debate.
Those who want to make excuses for Webber and those who want him to hold himself accountable for his own actions. Which group would you want your child to follow?
I would be deeply disappointed if my son was judgmental, and had failed to learn to see the world as more than a black/white place after four years of college, where I'd hope that he's being exposed to literature, art, etc.. that teach us about the complex nature of humanity. I'd be sad that he was such a shallow man.
But GR3, Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Mitch McGary...these are elite recruits. There is a non-zero chance (approaching 100%) that one or more of them was offered an impermissible benefit of some sort at one time or another. Wiuld you be this quick to throw them under the bus?
Difference is (as far as we know) that they didn't take the impermissable benefits. That makes them better men than Webber.
I'm not sure if I missed your point but it almost seems to hurt Webber.
And yes, if Michigan won the National Championship this year and it came out that McGary took 330,000 dollars and the banners were taken down, I would hold it against him. And if he lied to protect a known criminal, I would hold it against him. And if he refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing for twenty years, I would hold it against him.
It isn't against the law to take money to play sports. It's a job.
The only thing C-Webb did illegal was lie in front of a jury and he did that to preserve and protect the University you hold so dear.
But lets compare what Webber did to say...Frank Clark. http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8192839/michigan-wolverines-de-frank-clark-suspended-arrest
I don't hear anybody booing when he steps out on the field. I just googled "Frank Clark apologizes" and didn't get any relevant hits. These are KIDS we are talking about in both cases...Is what Webber did worse?
I really don't think so.
There's a third side: those who don't expect people to serve a 25 year sentence for what they did. We can understand behavior that was wrong. After 20 years, we can forgive and move on.
You must be a very shallow person to hold a grudge for so long against someone you've never met.
I'd like to know what mistakes you made when you were 18 years old. How would you feel, if 20 years later people you've never met still held a grudge against you, people who were never really affected by your mistake.
How were any of us really affected by what Weber did? We had to cheer for a crappy basketball team. Okay. That sucked. It's over. Forgive.
It's Webber. Not Weber.
I don't hold a grudge against Webber. I just find it shocking that so many are quick to defend his cheating when he hasn't even acknowledged that he did anything wrong. I was hoping Michigan Men would hold themselves to a higher standard, but apparently this is not the case, we too are just as likely as SEC to excuse athletes for their wrong doing in exchange for wins. Let's not forget, that while it may appear petty to not "accept him back" after 20 years, it is far more offensive for Webber to not own up to his mistakes. The guy should've served prison time for protecting a known criminal, he got lucky Martin died.
How can you forgive someone who won't acknowledge they did anything wrong? That is a conundrum.
Still in shock, would be great the see the guys that brought tears to my eyes in my youth come back and watch...
I really think it is okay to enjoy the Fab 5. I mean, the University all but abandoned the program for a decade(Thanks Bill). Other programs laugh at our self-inflicted wounds.
Look at our current opponent. Jim Boeheim is one of the most respected coaches in college basketball. Guess what: same thing that happened here in the early 90's happened there.
Hell, they're under a major investigation RIGHT NOW
We need to stop punishing ourselves for stuff that happened before our current team was born. You got time for some light reading?
And Syracuse's program has been just fine, thank you. Bottom line, Michigan basketball has done its time. If putting a Chris Webber billboard on '75 is going to help recruiting, I'm all in. Kids have done and will continue to do worse things than take money. I'm all done trying to crucify him for it.
The crowd would go absolutely off the wall if the fab five shows up on the big screen on Saturday. No way I see webber going though
Well Mr. Brandon, I heard you say the exact opposite publically not too long ago.
I don't have an extreme opinion either way -- Webber can either continue on like he has or apologize and be welcomed back, either is fine with me.
What does surprise me is that a tenured Michigan associate professor has this large of an obsession with our basketball team. He created this course, blogs about it everyday, tweets the players and takes pictures with them, etc. I don't know if he is fulfilling his department's and LSA's expectations by blogging, teaching, and publishing about basketball so much -- perhaps he is -- but I hope his fanaticism doesn't lead to inappropriate benefits (e.g. grades) for the basketball players. Seems like he doesn't think it was a big deal when Webber took those benefits, so why would he think it's a problem here?
lolwut? I know the meme, but how does it fit here? I'm a troll? I'm just saying that it seems like his fanaticism is overpowering his professional and academic obligations.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that didn't get that. I thought your post was appropriate. I definitely agree that there should be some level of concern over a professor's obsession(?) with the sport that so many of his students play. His judgement could become clouded.
EDIT: I don't mean to call this particular professor's professionalism or ethics into question. I'm talking in a more general sense.
"I hope his fanaticism doesn't lead to inappropriate benefits (e.g. grades) for the basketball players. Seems like he doesn't think it was a big deal when Webber took those benefits, so why would he think it's a problem here?"
You're questioning the man's professional ethics because of his opinion on a sports blog. Very very RCMB my man.
It amazes me that there are folks out there - Michigan alumni, no less - who can hold such viciously anti-Webber views. He shouldn't be associated with the program! He's an EMBARASSMENT! I AM STILL ANGRY!
The argument, as I understand it, is that Chris Webber shouldn't even appear on a jumbotron screen because he accepted booster money and then lied about it under oath, and this caused the basketball program 20 years of wandering in the desert.
First , even ifWebber caused the basketball program to collapse, the analogy to Exodus holds, in that the program could have - and should have - been rebuilt quickly. That our time in the wilderness was an inexpliciable 20 years was the fault of a heck of a lot of "Michigan Men" - but NOT Chris Webber.
Second, why Webber? Lets not rationalize what he did - Webber broke rules and committed perjury. But is Jimmy King also radioactive? What about Jalen Rose? I wasn't aware that players who had committed crimes should be abandoned by their alma maters. Does Georgetown pretend that noted perjurer Bill Clinton never attended their university?
Third - and this is the most important point - Webber, while complex, is in many ways a credit to the university. His influence on American pop culture is outsized, not just as a member of the Fab 5 but during his NBA career. He's carved a successful second career for himself as a commentator, and he's damn good at it. He's not just "an athlete", and his intelligence and public life are a credit to Michigan or any university that helped shape him. But as an athlete - he was terrific. The great Sacramento Kings teams played as beautiful a game of basketball as you'll ever see, and Webber ran the show. He was skilled and intelligent on the floor.
Now, I'm not arguing to beatify Webber. He's a complicated guy. He did, after all, break the NCAA rules and perjure himself. He was viewed as a chemistry killer for the first part of his pro career. He really, really liked marijuana. But there are a lot of positives along with those negatives. No realistic assessment of Webber can conclude anything other than "its not all good or all bad, but he's a interesting and influential guy". And this is a guy who should be banished, because he wont wash our feet and accept responsibility for every bad thing that happened to Michigan basketball since 1993?
Personally, I'd rather have Michigan athletes be Chris Webbers rather than guys who follow all the rules, never say or do an interesting or intelligent thing and teach gym to 10th graders for the entirety of their post-Michigan lives. But even if you disagree with my personal preference, having the opinion that this is OBVIOUS and he SHOULD NEVER BE BACK probably means you never really "thought" about Chris Webber.
"Personally, I'd rather have Michigan athletes be Chris Webbers rather than guys who follow all the rules, never say or do an interesting or intelligent thing and teach gym to 10th graders for the entirety of their post-Michigan lives."
This is scary. You'd rather Michigan athletes take impermissble benefits, lie under oath to protect a known criminal, leave their respective programs as a steaming crater for 5 years after they left, in exchange for wins? Basically, just because he can play a game, he can do anything? You'd rather the athletes just be famous stars rather than become contributing members of society in other regards?
I guess you'd be in Maurice Clarett's corner too? (slight hyperbole, yes I know he was on his way to kill someone...)
Personally, I'd rather have Auburn athletes be Cam Newtons rather than guys who follow all the rules...
Personally, I'd rather have Ohio State athletes be Terrelle Pryors rather than guys who follow all the rules...
Personally, I'd rather have USC athletes be Reggie Bushes rather than guys who follow all the rules...
But Webber ISNT Cam Newton, Terrelle Pryor, or Reggie Bush (actually, he may be closer to Reggie Bush, but Bush is an interesting dude himself). Webber has turned himself into an excellent basketball commentator. He's widely respected, even in light of his accepting money at UM and his pot bust(s)[?], both for his intelligence and his style of play at his peak. He's not just a winner (in fact, he was never much of a winner!) and he's not just an athlete. People take in the totality of Webber - the good and the bad - and conclude that he's impressive. He is a credit to his alma mater.
Webber did bad things, but so have a lot of other people. He's also done a lot of good things - both athletically and off the court. He is not a bad person - he is a person who has done some bad things. As have you, as has everybody.
Why do we get to judge Chris Webber? Why does he have to apologize - and if he has to apologize, why does he have to apologize to US? Why is Chris Webber held to a different standard than the countless other Michigan athletes who did bad things, who commited crimes or cheated or were deadbeat dads?
Webber should be welcomed because everyone like him is welcomed, and because its the right thing to do. And it makes the university and everyone affiliated with it look petty, judgmental, and frankly, immature to reject him as some sort of unmentionable.
And Cam Newton?
Other than the National Title...
To all those folks out there who justify UNIFORMZ with the statement "the kids like them": Do you apply the same reasoning to the question of whether or not Webber should be welcomed back? Because I'm pretty darn sure that the current players (who we all love) would be beside themselves with glee if they had a chance to meet Chris Webber, a member of the team that changed college basketball forever. So, by your own standards, I hope you all are in the "Welcome Webber" camp.
Back in the late 80s-early 90s my wife and I would regularly habituate an elaborate pregame tailgate. So elaborate, in fact, that Steve Fisher would regularly bring BB recruits by to sample some grub and to chat briefly with the tailgaters about what a great place M was.
One such tailgate I particularly remember was when Fisher showed up with a tall kid from Country Day whose name by that time was familiar to all of us. Chris Webber was not just the most highly recruited high school kid in Michigan. He was probably the most highly recruited in the United States. In the brief time Chris mingled with us at least a dozen people --- mostly other kids --- asked for and received his autograph. Three or four attractive girls who apparently had been following him in his pregame progression hung on him like flies on paper.
My point here is that in those days Chris's universe was light years away from yours or mine. He was used to people befriending him, doing favors for him, promising him stuff. His moral compass, such as it was, easily accommodated monetary advances from Ed Martin. In fact, we now know that even by the time I saw him at the tailgate he had already accepted a boatload of cash from Ed Martin. And yes, Chris continued to accept cash after he became a student-athlete at Michigan --- just another of the many favors people continued to extend to him. Was it wrong? Only by about a hundred different standards ranging from legal to moral to ethical. But to Chris and to his father Mace, the slope had become so slippery that they had little or no reservation about continuing to accept Ed Martin's money.
Did Chris understand he was wrong to lie to the grand jury? Of course he did. Did Chris luck out when Ed Martin's timely (for Chris) death nullified the fed's case against him? You bet. Did Chris ultimately get off lightly? Yes, but that's what happens when you get lucky and have good lawyers. That's life. Chris paid his fine and performed his community service. But the championship banners remain tucked away in a Clements Library secret location. They will come out again only over Mary Sue Coleman's dead body.
The University community suffered a great wrong from what Chris did and from what the other non-Fab Fivers who took money from Ed Martin did. Still, that was a long time ago. Ed Martin is dead. Robert Traylor is dead. The moving finger has writ. Let's just accept that what happened happened and let Chris rejoin the university family.
I have no interest in forgiving (or not forgiving) him. He didn't do anything to harm me.
If I thought he was a real bad dude, I wouldn't want him repping Michigan, but no one argues that Webber is a real bad dude, at least by athlete standards. Seems to be in the muddled middle.
I'm not mad at Webber. I'm actually getting more frustrated with people completely excusing him for his actions. Numerous posters have stated that "he did nothing wrong". Really? I didn't realize Michigan joined the SEC. This type of win-at-all-costs mentality is disturbing. Moreover, the fact that the thread originates from a pseudo-love letter from a Michigan professor teaching FIVE freshman basketball players is slightly disconcerting as well. I'd rather win less and hold Michigan to a higher standard. That standard seems to be slipping with some fans. Perhaps these posters are only fans of Michigan athletics and aren't necessarily concerned with the academic side of the institution, but I'd like to hold Michigan to a higher standard. The issue isn't so much with Webber as it is with what behavior will be accepted or excused in exchange for wins.
I have no interest in forgiving (or not forgiving) him. He didn't do anything to harm me.
If I thought he was a real bad dude, I wouldn't want him repping Michigan, but no one argues that Webber is a real bad dude, at least by athlete standards. Seems to be in the muddled middle.
Our program was pretty bad for a long time, and you want to blame Chris Webber for that.
And the Ed Martin scandal did cost us. One year of post-season play and a sholarship. But you want to blame all the rest of it on him too. The shitty coaching. The shitty facilities. The non-existant marketing. None of that had anything to do with Chris Webber. There is one man to blame for that. And he never played ball for Michigan.
Can we please stop talking about the fab five that won absolutely nothing. Let's celebrate true champions like the 89 team and hope our boys can duplicate that result. I watched the 89 final last night and loved every minute of it. They played a fab five game a while ago and I watched ten minutes of it and found something better to do.
Colas is actually the problem here. One of my roommates had him as prof, his classes are a joke and border on the kind of bullshit academics designed to keep certain people athletically eligible. Twenty years on staff, 4 publications listed, 2 of them about basketball, etc. The average Michigan grad student leaves with multiple publications in more prestigious journals than Colas has been able to accomplish in 20 years of sucking on our tuition dollars.
In 2007 he was running some kind of "self graded" class that was somehow justified via Zen. No idea if he's still doing it, but if you need some slack off credits when you're a fifth year senior and doing a victory lap, sign up his for class.
He's also from Duke, which helps explain the basketball fixation.
I've never taught any course and have that many publications. It's not THAT hard to at least piggy back as an author where someone lose does the heavy lifting.
I want a mea culpa and a sincere apology from Chris Webber. When he became the first to take Ed Martin's money, he set a culture into motion that put the program in a position where it has taken 20 years to get back to where it used to be, and ten of those years were borderline pathetic.
I respect the piece, and the fact that the prof loves the basketball program, I don't want a Chris Webber who can't take responsibility and show contrition for his actions to become a de facto representative of the current program.
This sucked. Pretty sure this guy only did it to get his name in the paper. We've moved on from the fab five. Let this team have their moment without constantly digging up our program's skeletons.
This sucked. Pretty sure this guy only did it to get his name in the paper. We've moved on from the fab five. Let this team have their moment without constantly digging up our program's skeletons.